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>Hopefully you don’t need a plastic surgeon and never will, but it is always good to know one you would use just in case. One of my girlfriends had a breast augmentation done about ten years ago, and last week one of the sacs burst. Fortunately it was filled with saline. Unfortunately, the doctor “retired” three years ago. After going to see a myriad of referred surgeons, and paying hundreds of dollars in consultation fees, she finally found Dr. Aboolian. She said the thing that stood out about him was that he was more concerned about what was best for her than what was easiest or more profitable for him.

In the process she also learned that her former “plastic surgeon” was actually an Ear Nose & Throat doctor and NOT licensed to perform plastic surgery at all! His “retirement” was enforced by the Medical Board which took away his license. Her experience emphasizes the point of doing research on your medical providers (through the appropriate medical board, not their own advertisements). My friend learned that some doctors sell specific products because they have a quota, so regardless of the appropriate type of product best suited for the patient, they push their patients to buy whatever will fulfill their quota. One very easy way to determine qualification is simply to ask what hospital they are affiliated with for the procedure (her previous “plastic surgeon” was not affiliated with any hospital and performed it in his office); if they hesitate or don’t give one, please do other consumers a favor and report them to the authorities. After her 3 hour pre op yesterday she said, “I never had all these tests done before my last operation!” and because of the emergency nature of her condition, Dr. Aboolian is working on her today (Good Friday) to ensure her health.

Hopefully you will also never need to file bankruptcy, but in these economic times, there are some people must file bankruptcy. As if being in that position isn’t stressful enough, the plethora of scam artists and sleazy lawyers waiting to prey on them makes the whole process even more stressful. Fortunately, there is at least one really great bankruptcy lawyer in Los Angeles, who is actually recommended by the bankruptcy courts, named Leon Bayer. He has saved two of my friends from very expensive mistakes in their bankruptcy filings by giving them FREE advice over the phone. Yes, a lawyer who will give you a free quote over the phone as well as free advice on the best way to proceed. That in and of itself is a sign of the quality and compassion of this man’s legal practice.

A surgeon who works on a holiday and a lawyer who gives out free advice over the phone are very good people to know on this Good Friday.

Hopefully you don’t need a plastic surgeon and never will, but it is always good to know one you would use just in case. One of my girlfriends had a breast augmentation done about ten years ago, and last week one of the sacs burst. Fortunately it was filled with saline. Unfortunately, the doctor “retired” three years ago. After going to see a myriad of referred surgeons, and paying hundreds of dollars in consultation fees, she finally found Dr. Aboolian. She said the thing that stood out about him was that he was more concerned about what was best for her than what was easiest or more profitable for him.

In the process she also learned that her former “plastic surgeon” was actually an Ear Nose & Throat doctor and NOT licensed to perform plastic surgery at all! His “retirement” was enforced by the Medical Board which took away his license. Her experience emphasizes the point of doing research on your medical providers (through the appropriate medical board, not their own advertisements). My friend learned that some doctors sell specific products because they have a quota, so regardless of the appropriate type of product best suited for the patient, they push their patients to buy whatever will fulfill their quota. One very easy way to determine qualification is simply to ask what hospital they are affiliated with for the procedure (her previous “plastic surgeon” was not affiliated with any hospital and performed it in his office); if they hesitate or don’t give one, please do other consumers a favor and report them to the authorities. After her 3 hour pre op yesterday she said, “I never had all these tests done before my last operation!” and because of the emergency nature of her condition, Dr. Aboolian is working on her today (Good Friday) to ensure her health.

Hopefully you will also never need to file bankruptcy, but in these economic times, there are some people must file bankruptcy. As if being in that position isn’t stressful enough, the plethora of scam artists and sleazy lawyers waiting to prey on them makes the whole process even more stressful. Fortunately, there is at least one really great bankruptcy lawyer in Los Angeles, who is actually recommended by the bankruptcy courts, named Leon Bayer. He has saved two of my friends from very expensive mistakes in their bankruptcy filings by giving them FREE advice over the phone. Yes, a lawyer who will give you a free quote over the phone as well as free advice on the best way to proceed. That in and of itself is a sign of the quality and compassion of this man’s legal practice.

A surgeon who works on a holiday and a lawyer who gives out free advice over the phone are very good people to know on this Good Friday.

I recently drove 160 miles to San Diego, and after parking at my hotel, I was too exhausted to fight morning rush hour traffic, figure out directions, and try to find parking, so my friend Pel (who used to live in San Diego) told me to use the Trolley , she said, “Try it, you’ll like it.” She was right. For only $5, I rode all day, stopping directly at both Old Town and the Gaslamp district, not having to think twice about either how to get there or where to park. Parking alone at either tourist destination would have easily cost me more than my ticket, and the beauty of a trolley is that traffic stops for the trolley so it is usually faster than driving.

Everything was pretty self-explanatory from buying the tickets to understanding the transfers; I only got lost once, but other riders showed me where to transfer lines at the 12th street station. Service on non peak hours are every 15 minutes (7 minutes during rush hour) and the trolleys are clean, quiet, and cool. In all the years I have been going to San Diego (about 30 years…yikes!) I never tried the trolley and now I will probably never drive there again, especially after I found that the Orange line stop at the Gaslamp district is directly in front of Nobu! My favorite line is the Blue line which begins and ends at Old Town and the San Ysidro border; you can literally walk across the border, get on the trolley, and be back in Old Town in about 20 minutes!

Since I was down in San Diego, I wasn’t worried about any medical care I might need, but if I was traveling further down into Mexico, I would be concerned about wanting to come back to the US for urgent medical care, except for dental which is wonderful at Washington Dental, (see earlier post), so I would consider a medical jet service. Usually medical jet services cost between $10,000 to $75,000 to evacuate you to the hospital of your choice by jet, but if you travel abroad to exotic or rural locations, you can rest assured that you will be taken care of should a medical emergency arrive with Medjet. For an annual fee of only $175 domestically or $225 internationally, Medjet Assist is an insurance program that you can buy just for one trip or for a year depending on your travel plans and your needs.

Better transportation should be easy, comfortable, less expensive, and practical, both the San Diego Trolley and Medjet Assist fulfill all the criteria. Now to find a pair of shoes that fulfill all those same criteria…

>I recently drove 160 miles to San Diego, and after parking at my hotel, I was too exhausted to fight morning rush hour traffic, figure out directions, and try to find parking, so my friend Pel (who used to live in San Diego) told me to use the Trolley , she said, “Try it, you’ll like it.” She was right. For only $5, I rode all day, stopping directly at both Old Town and the Gaslamp district, not having to think twice about either how to get there or where to park. Parking alone at either tourist destination would have easily cost me more than my ticket, and the beauty of a trolley is that traffic stops for the trolley so it is usually faster than driving.

Everything was pretty self-explanatory from buying the tickets to understanding the transfers; I only got lost once, but other riders showed me where to transfer lines at the 12th street station. Service on non peak hours are every 15 minutes (7 minutes during rush hour) and the trolleys are clean, quiet, and cool. In all the years I have been going to San Diego (about 30 years…yikes!) I never tried the trolley and now I will probably never drive there again, especially after I found that the Orange line stop at the Gaslamp district is directly in front of Nobu! My favorite line is the Blue line which begins and ends at Old Town and the San Ysidro border; you can literally walk across the border, get on the trolley, and be back in Old Town in about 20 minutes!

Since I was down in San Diego, I wasn’t worried about any medical care I might need, but if I was traveling further down into Mexico, I would be concerned about wanting to come back to the US for urgent medical care, except for dental which is wonderful at Washington Dental, (see earlier post), so I would consider a medical jet service. Usually medical jet services cost between $10,000 to $75,000 to evacuate you to the hospital of your choice by jet, but if you travel abroad to exotic or rural locations, you can rest assured that you will be taken care of should a medical emergency arrive with Medjet. For an annual fee of only $175 domestically or $225 internationally, Medjet Assist is an insurance program that you can buy just for one trip or for a year depending on your travel plans and your needs.

Better transportation should be easy, comfortable, less expensive, and practical, both the San Diego Trolley and Medjet Assist fulfill all the criteria. Now to find a pair of shoes that fulfill all those same criteria…

I admit I’m a bit of a word nerd; I love dictionaries and ever since grammar school, I have been known to actually read them just for fun (I warned you; I’m a nerd). I recently bought a very large, very heavy French-English Larousse Advanced Dictionary with 400,000 translations that I love. It’s the kind of reference book usually found in libraries; weighing in at about 5 pounds with a 3 inch spine, this volume will need a sturdy bookshelf.

As much as I love my heavy duty dictionary, I also love the Franklin pocket sized electronic dictionary my friend Allison gave me, which has definitions for 100,000 words and 500,000 synonyms. They make versions that offer translations as well as definitions for travelers who want a personal translator for their trip. For people with specialized needs, they also have versions with medical definitions and test preparations so students can study on the go. Word games are included, so you can sharpen your word skills, and they even offer personal organizers so one unit can multi-task for you. You will never misspell a task again!

Words can be used to create wonderful novels, plays, articles, and blogs, so use them wisely.

I admit I’m a bit of a word nerd; I love dictionaries and ever since grammar school, I have been known to actually read them just for fun (I warned you; I’m a nerd). I recently bought a very large, very heavy French-English Larousse Advanced Dictionary with 400,000 translations that I love. It’s the kind of reference book usually found in libraries; weighing in at about 5 pounds with a 3 inch spine, this volume will need a sturdy bookshelf.

As much as I love my heavy duty dictionary, I also love the Franklin pocket sized electronic dictionary my friend Allison gave me, which has definitions for 100,000 words and 500,000 synonyms. They make versions that offer translations as well as definitions for travelers who want a personal translator for their trip. For people with specialized needs, they also have versions with medical definitions and test preparations so students can study on the go. Word games are included, so you can sharpen your word skills, and they even offer personal organizers so one unit can multi-task for you. You will never misspell a task again!

Words can be used to create wonderful novels, plays, articles, and blogs, so use them wisely.

>I admit I’m a bit of a word nerd; I love dictionaries and ever since grammar school, I have been known to actually read them just for fun (I warned you; I’m a nerd). I recently bought a very large, very heavy French-English Larousse Advanced Dictionary with 400,000 translations that I love. It’s the kind of reference book usually found in libraries; weighing in at about 5 pounds with a 3 inch spine, this volume will need a sturdy bookshelf.

As much as I love my heavy duty dictionary, I also love the Franklin pocket sized electronic dictionary my friend Allison gave me, which has definitions for 100,000 words and 500,000 synonyms. They make versions that offer translations as well as definitions for travelers who want a personal translator for their trip. For people with specialized needs, they also have versions with medical definitions and test preparations so students can study on the go. Word games are included, so you can sharpen your word skills, and they even offer personal organizers so one unit can multi-task for you. You will never misspell a task again!

Words can be used to create wonderful novels, plays, articles, and blogs, so use them wisely.

I have almost always had bad experiences in Mexico. On my first trip, there was a hurricane. On my second trip, I was bitten from head to toe. On my last trip down there, I had to be flown back after contracting malaria. I figured there are enough places in the world to go that I did not have to return to Mexico.

But my friend Pel has been going to Mexico for dental work for years, taking her mother and grandmother to get dentures and crowns. When she got her husband to try it, he liked it so much that he went and got veneers. I needed a root canal and gold crown. Even though Pel suggested going to Mexico for dental work, I was unconvinced. But then I found out that the work would cost $1600 here in the US and take two weeks of visits.

So figuring I had nothing to lose, but maybe several hundred dollars to gain, I called and I checked into the clinic my friend recommended, the new offices on Ave Revolucion #1673 of Washington Dental in Tijuana (make sure you go to the new office not the old one). They were very professional, spoke perfect English, take some US insurance, and they had THE cleanest dental practice I have ever seen. Their waiting area has free cold drinks, current movies on a big screen TV in English to occupy waiting family/friends, and San Diego newspapers. I got everything done for HALF the US price in two days instead of two weeks. The lab which makes the crowns was down the street so I did not have to wait for shipping time. Even the antibiotics I needed after the root canal were sold for 30% less than in the US at the pharmacy across the street from the clinic. Everything was easy, from my first inquiry call to the moment I stepped inside the clinic. All the people were very personable and kind, but best of all, the work was fantastic. I did not even have to take pain killers after the root canal! They even reimburse you for a taxi from the border and have a special lot on the US side if you want to drive and walk across the border.

I stayed two exits from the border at the Americana Best Western. They offer a special clinic rate and include a free shuttle directly to many doctors and clinics across the border directly from the hotel and back. The only drawback to taking the shuttle is the wait coming back at the border if the shuttle gets behind a big tour bus. The first day we breezed through in 15 minutes, the next day it took 2 hours. The other passengers in the van had all gone to Mexico for alternative treatments for cancer because apparently Tijuana is the new mecca for medical work. Many places operate under new NAFTA regulations that make their standards on par with the ones in the US and many take US insurance.

I guess I’ll be returning to Mexico now with a smile.

>I have almost always had bad experiences in Mexico. On my first trip, there was a hurricane. On my second trip, I was bitten from head to toe. On my last trip down there, I had to be flown back after contracting malaria. I figured there are enough places in the world to go that I did not have to return to Mexico.

But my friend Pel has been going to Mexico for dental work for years, taking her mother and grandmother to get dentures and crowns. When she got her husband to try it, he liked it so much that he went and got veneers. I needed a root canal and gold crown. Even though Pel suggested going to Mexico for dental work, I was unconvinced. But then I found out that the work would cost $1600 here in the US and take two weeks of visits.

So figuring I had nothing to lose, but maybe several hundred dollars to gain, I called and I checked into the clinic my friend recommended, the new offices on Ave Revolucion #1673 of Washington Dental in Tijuana (make sure you go to the new office not the old one). They were very professional, spoke perfect English, take some US insurance, and they had THE cleanest dental practice I have ever seen. Their waiting area has free cold drinks, current movies on a big screen TV in English to occupy waiting family/friends, and San Diego newspapers. I got everything done for HALF the US price in two days instead of two weeks. The lab which makes the crowns was down the street so I did not have to wait for shipping time. Even the antibiotics I needed after the root canal were sold for 30% less than in the US at the pharmacy across the street from the clinic. Everything was easy, from my first inquiry call to the moment I stepped inside the clinic. All the people were very personable and kind, but best of all, the work was fantastic. I did not even have to take pain killers after the root canal! They even reimburse you for a taxi from the border and have a special lot on the US side if you want to drive and walk across the border.

I stayed two exits from the border at the Americana Best Western. They offer a special clinic rate and include a free shuttle directly to many doctors and clinics across the border directly from the hotel and back. The only drawback to taking the shuttle is the wait coming back at the border if the shuttle gets behind a big tour bus. The first day we breezed through in 15 minutes, the next day it took 2 hours. The other passengers in the van had all gone to Mexico for alternative treatments for cancer because apparently Tijuana is the new mecca for medical work. Many places operate under new NAFTA regulations that make their standards on par with the ones in the US and many take US insurance.

I guess I’ll be returning to Mexico now with a smile.

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